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The Long Southern StrategyHow Chasing White Voters in the South Changed American Politics$
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Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190265960

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190265960.001.0001

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The Not-So-New Southern Racism

The Not-So-New Southern Racism

Chapter:
(p.43) 1 The Not-So-New Southern Racism
Source:
The Long Southern Strategy
Author(s):

Angie Maxwell

Todd Shields

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190265960.003.0002

During and after the Civil Rights Movement, GOP leaders capitalized on white racial angst to attract southern white voters. However, in order to do so without alienating Republicans nationwide, the GOP utilized coded language as an end-around of public displays of prejudice and championed an “us vs. them” cosmology. The decline of overt, Old-Fashioned Racism seemed positive, but the decline masked the persistence of white supremacist attitudes so dominant in the South. Since whiteness functions as a vantage point, supremacy can be maintained as long as the gap between whites and an “other” is also maintained. When denigrating minorities publicly was no longer socially acceptable, the GOP manufactured a host of increasingly threatening “others.” These common enemies catalyzed both an elevation of and a clinging to whiteness, which, in turn, preserved the “not-so-new” racial hierarchy key to southern white voters that only relative measures of racial animus can expose.

Keywords:   southern white identity, white supremacy, Old-Fashioned Racism, Ethnocentrism, “new” racism, us vs. them, Black Lives Matter, Mexican wall, segregation

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